A subway dispatcher (Denzel Washington) calls on his extensive knowledge of the transit system to outwit hijackers who are threatening to kill passengers unless a ransom is paid.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®
" Against all odds and better advice, director Tony Scott, screenwriter Brian Helgeland and main protagonists Denzel Washington and John Travolta take a much-loved genre classic and arguably make it better. "
" It ticks along as efficiently as a new clock. The performances are smooth, the car-crash effects remarkable, the pace never flagging. "
" Kinetic director Tony Scott balances his need for speed and flash with fleshed-out drama, making Pelham the best of his recent outings. "
" Set in a nightmare New York City, the subway hostage thriller batters our nerves like a tom-tom. "
" The film does what a good hostage negotiator does: It distracts us from what's going wrong and pulls us into the story. "
" The new Pelham, although no classic, is a lot of fun if you're in the right mood. "
" The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 has all the usual virtues of a good action suspense drama. "
" The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is a near-perfect summer entertainment thriller that shows good story, good director and good actors trump gaudy special effects any day. "
" Washington demonstrates his really remarkable ability to make us forget he's a movie star and completely believe he's a flawed but noble civil servant. "
" We've been waiting too long for a sharp little urban thriller with a couple of tense scenes and one fine, bold performance. Given the time, we'll grab this express train, happily. "
" Whereas the original, directed by Joseph Sargent, was essentially a well-oiled B movie, the new incarnation, directed by Tony Scott, is bristling with high-tech gimcrackery and over-the-top camera flourishes. "
" 'The Taking of Pelham 123' is not a bad film: it's ponderous and shallow, but always watchable. But what it crucially fails to do, especially in the light of its illustrious predecessor, is justify its own existence. "
" At first it's exciting, but as the film progresses, that quick-cut, never-stop pacing seems increasingly desperate. "
" Can a director be arrested for the attempted hijack of our emotions? "
" Helgeland's story is so formulaic and the characters so stock that we're just sitting there waiting for these guys to perform like circus animals. "
" I was really disappointed by this. "
" Most disappointing is the new film's reluctance to even attempt to match the ingenuity of the original movie's celebrated one-two punch ending. "
" Pelham is not merely a film that may induce seizures in those who are susceptible; it is a film that seems engineered to approximate the experience of a seizure for those who are not. "
See all The Taking of Pelham 123 Reviews
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